The second generation of Intel Cascade Lake processors have finally been released and they have some pretty awesome new features!
At the top of the food chain we have the Xeon Platinum, which is now up to 56 cores on a Ball Grid Array (BGA5903) socket. The Xeon Platinum 9200 series are known as the Cascade Lake-AP (Advanced Performance) and will be sold by OEM’s as a complete server. Intel also released the 2nd generation of Cascade Lake-SP (Scalable) processors under the Xeon Platinum 8200 series. The 8200 series Platinum and Gold also support Optane memory, for faster workloads.
The Xeon Platinum 9200 series is Intel’s largest processor to this date, and will be using the largest socket with 5903 ‘balls’ making contact with the motherboard, comparatively, AMD’s EPYC processors have 4094. The 9200 series of Xeons have twelve (12) memory channels which is the reason for the increase in connections / contact points. The Xeon Platinum 9282 is the flagship processor with 56 cores and 112 threads with a TDP of 400W. As we progress through the family, the 9242 will contain 48 cores, while the 9222 and 9221 Platinum’s will contain 32 cores at different clock speeds. We have yet to see pricing on the 9200 series which will depend on the OEM’s configuring these processors on their systems.
The second generation scalable processors starting at the top, the Xeon Platinum 8280M is a 28 core 56 thread, and it will be priced just above $13,000. Based on the pricing for this chip, we can expect the price for the 9200 series to start from $20,000 based on the pricing for the 8280M. This is all speculation at the moment as no OEM’s have released their configured systems.
As for the Xeon Platinum 8280M, this processor has a base frequency of 2.70GHz and turbo of 4.00GHz. Unlike its bigger brothers, the Scalable family will be using the more traditional LGA socket, LGA3647. These processors will only support 6 channel memory and the Platinum 8200 series will be using DDR4 2933. The 2nd generation family of processors will be releasing over 50 processors over the course of 2019. As of April 2, 2019, Intel has the Xeon Platinum, and a few of the Xeon Gold, Silver, and Bronze processors.
We have yet to see AMD’s response to the Platinum 9200 series, which are expected to release mid-2019. The new Zen 2 architecture supposedly used in the AMD EPYC Rome processor is rumored to have 64 cores and 128 threads. Rumors and leaked benchmarks are the only thing we know about the AMD EPYC Rome processor. In recent news, the Zen 2 processor’s 7nm processor yields are 70% at the current stage of production. The higher yields for Zen 2 mean that there are more chips usable on a silicon wafer. Each silicon wafer may have some defects, however at the current 70% yields, AMD can use 70% of the wafer. In comparison, Intel’s current 28-core 14nm chip has yields of about 35%. AMD is expected to have a large announcement at Computex 2019 at the end of May and beginning of June. Until then, stay tuned for more news.
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